NCAA 95: Letran takes care of business vs EAC to take third-seed

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 17, 2019 04:01 PM
Letran takes care of business vs EAC to take third-seed
(Photo by Josh Albelda) (FILE PHOTO)

Colegio de San Juan de Letran bucked a slow start, Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre, before beating down Emilio Aguinaldo College, 87-79, and bagging the third-seed in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Knights trailed for all of the first half before flipping the script in the second half, ultimately taking care of business against the also-ran Generals.

With that, they ascended to 12-6 and assured themselves of no. 3 for the next round - whether that be the Final Four or a stepladder playoffs. "May goal kami kaya walang relax-relax. Last year ko na so ayaw kong magbakasyon nang maaga," team captain Jerrick Balanza said post-game.

Letran was missing the mark in the earlygoing and even found itself in a 19-point hole, 19-38, in the second quarter. "Binalik namin yung mga pinag-usapan at pinagpraktisan namin the past days," head coach Bonnie Tan said.

From there, though, they went on a 34-13 rampage to, all of a sudden, ahead by three, 54-51, entering the final frame.

There, EAC got going once more and JP Maguliano pulled them within one, 61-62, inside the last eight minutes only to see the Knights go on another rampage, this one courtesy of 11 unanswered points from Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, and Larry Muyang.

Both the double-digit lead and the momentum would remain with them until the final buzzer.

In the end, Muyang posted a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double while Balanza pumped in 20 markers, four boards, two assists, and two dimes.

Batiller had his own 15 points and four assists while Fran Yu chipped in 10 markers, four dimes, and three rebounds.

They will now await the result of the matchup between San Beda University and Lyceum of the Philippines University ongoing as of press time. A win for the Red Lions forces a stepladder playoffs while a win for the Pirates forces the Final Four.

They will also have to wait for the results of the last assignments for fourth-running San Sebastian College-Recoletos and fifth-running College of St. Benilde to determine who completes the cast for the next round.

For the Generals, Jethro Mendoza topped the scoring column with 26 points in his last game for the team while Maguliano had 13 markers and nine rebounds to his name.

Despite the loss that dropped their record to 4-14, they nonetheless put forth virtue and excellence in their last game of the season.

BOX SCORES

LETRAN 87 - Muyang 22, Balanza 20, Batiller 15, Yu 10, Ular 8, Ambohot 6, Reyson 4, Mina 2, Caralipio 0, Balagasay 0, Sangalang 0, Pambid 0

EAC 79 - Mendoza 26, Maguliano 13, Gurtiza 9, Taywan 8, De Guzman 6, Luciano 6, Estacio 4, Corilla 3, Martin 3, Cadua 1, Gonzales 0, Carlos 0, Boffa 0

QUARTER SCORES: 14-25, 30-41, 56-55, 87-79

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